When the South Carolina legislature returns to Columbia next month, they hope to hear from a committee that will offer some advice on selling state-owned utility Santee Cooper.
State Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, said lawmakers are looking forward to what the committee has found. “That is going to be probably the number one legislative priority going into session in January,” Davis said during a conference call last week hosted by the Palmetto Promise Institute on the sale of Santee Cooper.
The joint House-Senate panel is currently receiving potential offers for Santee Cooper and will consider the bids in late January. The committee will only make recommendations, any actual decisions about the company’s future will need to be made by the full House and Senate.
Gov. Henry McMaster has said that he wants to sell the company to help pay off its debt from an abandoned nuclear expansion project at the VC Summer plant in Fairfield County. McMaster is also on the committee.
Santee Cooper and SCANA decided in late July 2017 that the behind-schedule and over-budget project was beyond their ability to continue. Debt from the work and previous aborted efforts to build a coal plant have helped contribute to Santee Cooper’s $8 billion in debt.